The Plateau state Medium Security Custodial Centre Jos Sunday came under attack by gunmen who reportedly stormed the facility in large number with sophisticated weapons.
Controller of Corrections Public Relations Officer (PRO) Francis Enobore said this in a late night statement in Jos.
He said: “The invaders were said to have arrived at the Custodial Centre at about 1720hrs and immediately made for the main gate where they engaged the armed squad personnel in a gun battle before breaking into the yard.
“Although they gained entrance to the yard, they are however trapped within as men from sister security services were immediately mobilised to assist the armed guards to cordon the perimeter wall and the entire area.”
Enobore further said reinforcement from the response squad of the Service was also mobilised to the centre.
He said “the situation is presently under control as the attackers firing power is being subdued by superior fire from a combined team of security agencies.”
“Update will be made available as event unfolds,” the statement added.
Gani Adams on kidnappers
In a related development, Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland Gani Adams has raised the alarm over bandits relocating to both Kwara and Kogi states.
Adams stated this weekend while speaking at the 2021 edition of Oya Festival in Ira, Kwara state.
He said the trend of insecurity in the two states was becoming disheartening and alarming.
Adams said: “Governor AbdulRasak needs to provide adequate security for the people of the state as well as the visitors. The report that some of the bad elements, including bandits and kidnappers, have relocated to Kwara and Kogi states is alarming.
“The Kwara State government needs to improve on the security situation in the state by using the Amotekun structure to combat the growing spate of insecurity in the state.
“The success recorded in securing the South-west through Amotekun is encouraging and the security initiative is yielding positive outcome.”
Gang leader killed
Also, Police special forces have killed a notorious kidnap gang leader, Yellow Magaji, after raiding their hideouts in Kaduna, just as military special forces killed the gang leader of last Sunday’s attack on Kaduna-Abuja highway.
The bandits had terrorised Kaduna-Abuja highway in a spate of attacks killing a former FCDA Director, Alhaji Kabiru Hamidu and abducted several others Sunday and Monday.
They, however, met their waterloo when the military forces took the battle to their camps in the forest, killing their leader and several others.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Kaduna state, ASP Muhammed Jalige, said this on behalf of the Commissioner of Police Abdullahi Mudasiru.
Jalige said: “On November 24, 2021, operatives of the Kaduna Police Command in collaboration with the Federal Intelligence Bureau and Special Tactical Squad Force headquarters, Abuja, raided a facility at Ungwan Maijero area of Sabon Tasha in Chikun local government area of Kaduna state.
“The raid, which was on the directive of the Commissioner of Police, Mudassiru Abdullahi, acting on credible intelligence, was carried out against, a facility “known as Sir Joe Guest Inn located at NO.8 Sajo Street Unguwan Maigero area of Sabon Tasha in Chikun LGA of Kaduna state where a report of suspected bandits were said to have lodged.
“While the cautiously coordinated raid was ongoing, the suspected armed bandits on sensing danger took to their heels shooting sporadically leading to a gun duel with the operatives. One notorious bandit popularly called Yellow Magaji a.k.a Arushe was wounded in the shootout, whereas his equally notorious partner Yellow Ashana and others escaped with bullet wounds.
“The wounded bandit, Yellow Magaji was among a syndicate of bandits terrorising Kaduna-Abuja highway of recent, was thereafter taken to Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital for possible resuscitation to obtain useful information but was confirmed dead on arrival by a medical doctor.
“After an extensive search of the scene, the operatives recovered one AK47 rifle loaded with 23 rounds of 7.62 X 39mm live ammunition, 14 expended shells and one Boxer motorcycle belonging to the bandits. The owner of the facility who harbours the criminals was equally arrested for questioning.
“The Commissioner of Police salutes the courage of the operatives and most importantly the source of the valid information. He urged other members of the public to assist security operatives with prompt information as he assures them of absolute confidentiality while acting on the intel.
“The CP urged law abiding citizens to be vigilant and security conscious of their immediate environment.”
Military neutralise bandits too
Meanwhile, following the spate of attacks on Kaduna-Abuja highway, Military Special Forces chased dozens of bandits terrorising the highway, including leader of last Sunday attack on the highway to their hideouts in Kaduna forests and killed them.
The onslaught on the bandits and kidnappers, according to sources, led to the killing of the leader of the bandits, who killed former Director of the FCT and abducted his police orderly and many others on the highway last Sunday, and several other bandits during a fierce battle between the Special Forces and the bandits.
Combat ready security agents were seen on motorbikes and other vehicles; heading to the forests in search of more bandits to neutralise as security agents takes the battle to the bandits, further into their hideouts.
Zaria LG workers freed
And also from the Kaduna state Police Command came the cherry news that 10 out of the 13 abducted staff of the Zaria local government council have been released.
Police image maker in the state, ASP Jalige told journalists Sunday in Zaria that the kidnapped staff were released Saturday, adding that efforts were on to ensure the release of the remaining three victims.
However, the PPRO declined comment on whether ransom was paid to secure the release the abducted staff.
Director, Education and Social Development, Mrs Deborah Mugu, her deputy, Dalhatu Aliyu-Awai, and 11 other staff members of Zaria local government were abducted by gunmen.
The staff was abducted at Kidandan, Giwa local government Kaduna state, on their way for a condolence visit to Dogara Abdullahi, a staff, who lost his father.
A family source who craved anonymity, said the staff members were released after payment of N40m ransom to the kidnappers.
He added that family members of the victims contributed money to pay the ransom.
He added that the kidnappers did not release three of the abducted staff because some conditions for the release was N40m and three brand new motorcycles.
“Only the money that was taken to them, that is why they refused to release the three staff.
“The freed victims are yet to be united with their families because they were taken to an undisclosed hospital for medical examination,’’ he said.
When contacted, chairman, Zaria local government, Alhaji Aliyu Ibrahim, said he cannot add anything to what the family source told NAN.
Asked whether the council would provide the new motorcycle to get the three remaining staff released, Ibrahim said: “Fall back to your source.” (NAN)
Arms supplier in Zamfara
Similarly, Zamfara state police command tactical operatives in collaboration with FIB/STS led by DSP Hussaini Gimba, arrested 30- year-old woman, Fatima Lawali in Gusau, the state capital, for allegedly supplying arms to bandits.
Commissioner of Police Ayuba N. Elkana announced this at a press conference in Gusauu.
He said the suspect was arrested at Gada Biyu area under Bungudu local government.
Elkana said: “On 25th October, 2021 at about 0930hrs, Police Tactical Operatives of the Command in collaboration with FIB/STS led by DSP Hussaini Gimba has succeeded in the arrest of Fatima Lawali, who is suspected in supplying ammunition to armed bandits in the state.
“Exhibit recovered from her was 991 rounds of Ak-47 live ammunition from Dabagi in Sokoto state to be delivered to a notorious bandit’s kingpin Ado Alero who has been terrorizing Zamfara state and other neighboring states.”
In an interview with journalists, the suspect confessed to the crime, saying she was given the sum of N50, 000 for the first time and N30,000 for the second time before she was arrested by the police in Gusau.
The suspect also revealed she was sent by one Sama’ila who is among the notorious bandit commanders from Zamfara to Gada local government in Sokoto state with the 991 live ammunition before she was arrested by the police in Gusau.
CP Ayuba stated that investigation into the matter was still in progress ahead further legal action against the suspect.
The CP said the command also arrested 29-year-old Bello Mu’azu in a case of attempted raping of 4-year-old girl, Aisha Buhari in Talata Mafara, headquarters of Talata Mafara local government area of the state.
“On the 24th November, 2021 at about 1500hrs, a complaint was received by the Police in T/Mafara LGA against the above mentioned suspect, that on the same date about 1400hrs, a good Samaritan sighted the suspect with the victim in a tight corner trying to remove her cloth and rape her, raised an alarm that led to the arrest of the suspect and brought him to the Station”. CP Ayuba said.
Bandits as terrorists
Meanwhile, the Northern Youths Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has described the declaration of bandits, Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’ada as terrorists by Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court Abuja as long overdue.
Following an Ex-parte Motion filed by the federal government through the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Abuja-based court declared bandits as terrorists after years of debate among Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike.
Speaking on the development in a statement obtained by Blueprint in Abuja Sunday, the northern youth urged the Armed Forces and other sister security agencies to arrest and prosecute those identifying with terrorists materially, morally or otherwise no matter how highly or lowly placed.
The group’s statement was signed by its President and Director General, Media and Publicity, Comrade Isah Abubakar and Mock Samuel Kure respectively.
“Though it almost took the Federal Government forever to act on the calls made by various interest groups in the Country, including the Northern Youth Council to declare bandits terrorists, it however better late than never
“We will welcome full military operation in North-western and North-central parts of the Country as it is happening in Northeast against Boko Haram and ISWAP elements which has drastically reduced their activities,” they said.